tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 28, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight, breaking news. disaster in texas. the relentless rain. the flooding catastrophe here in houston. the death toll climbing. the around the clock rescue effort by boat and air. >> please help us. i'm scared. >> families on rooftops, pleading for help. emergency crews and volunteers carrying thousands of victims to safety. and the pregnant mother going into labor -- the baby that just wouldn't wait. president trump flying into the storm zone tomorrow. the new race against time. dams pushed to the limit, water released to prevent them from overflowing, putting even more homes at risk. shelters filling up by the thousands -- families with nowhere else to go. and also breaking tonight -- the new report as we come on the air. north korea firing a missile
over japan. and good evening. thanks for joining us for this special edition of "world news tonight" this monday. i'm tom llamas in for david, and tonight, greater houston remains paralyzed. a region of 6.8 million people advised to shelter in place, and stay off the roads as the flooding disaster unfolds. the storm claiming even more lives and just behind me, you can see downtown houston, and where the buffalo bayou meets downtown, but there is so much water here. you can't tell where downtown ends and the bayou starts, and with all the help coming in from the federal and state governments and from california to rhode island, it's still not enough. neighbors and strangers pitching in. for a third brutal day, rescues. you see right there, an armada
of volunteers with boats. th tens of thousands of people under evacuations. the rivers still rising and this dangerous development, two reservoirs threatening to spill. tonight, there have been more than 4,000 high water rescues. more than 30,000 people are now expected in shelters, and 12,000 texas national guard members have been called up. that's every service member who is available to serve, and tonight, the storm is growing stronger again, threatening louisiana as well, and it could be days before the sunshin shin here again. >> reporter: tonight, new evacuations, and fears that the death toll will rise across america's fourth largest city. >> there is a reality that we have to come to grips with. and that is that we are just beginning the process of responding to this storm. >> reporter: what started with a direct impact on the tiny coastal town of rockport on friday night has turned into a weather disaster affecting
thousands of square miles and millions of people. more than 39 inches of rain already in spots, and more on the way. officials releasing millions of gallons from the addicks and barker reservoirs, hoping to prevent a catastrophic dam failure, but that water inundating neighborhoods, forcing thousands of residents from their homes. >> we had to leave some people behind which is really, really tough in these situations. they can't sit in these homes anymore with this water rising. >> reporter: thousands rescued by boat. more than 300 by helicopter. >> this is the water. >> reporter: iashia nelson stranded with her children on her roof. >> there's water everywhere. we have nowhere to go. i have all my children, i lost everything. i have nothing but the clothes on my back. please help us. i'm scared. >> reporter: hours later, finally rescued. to give you an idea of how paralyzed houston is right now, look at this. the public transportation system is frozen.
it stretches as far as you can see behind me, and all the way in front of us. >> reporter: the texas governor activating all 12,000 members of the national guard. emergency responder frequencies overwhelmed. >> there are two adolescent boys in kayaks that are missing that cannot swim. >> reporter: citizens are stepping in to help save each other. under this overpass and around the corner. along the highway, we met a driver who took us to a flooded out neighborhood where a woman was stuck in her home. the ceiling starting to buckle. her family asking for help on social media. >> the house with the roof collapsed. >> reporter: we saw the roof starting to cave in. the woman displaced by hurricane katrina, now dealing with harvey. >> i don't know. i have been through so much, so i really don't know. i'm a war veteran, so it's a bad joke for me right now. >> reporter: but she refuses to go to the shelter. she doesn't want to leave her pets behind. in another part of houston, the
bel air section, people are working around the clock to save their neighbors. we told them about a woman we heard was trapped. they jumped into action taking us right to the home. yvette! >> these are our neighbors, and one of our boys is here, and i'm going to start crying. >> reporter: it's painful. they have to abandon a home they have lived in for 25 years with what they can carry. >> we are very fortunate. we're happy for the help and to get out. >> reporter: and this woman thanking first responders to help her get to the hospital while she was in laber. writing, landon jerred was born everything. ly healthy. that mother telling us she never got the name of the people who saved her, but she will be grateful to them. as you can see and sometimes hear, the record rain has put reservoirs and dams under
tremendous strain. they have released some of the pept up water hoping the keep it under control, but tens of thousands of homes are under threat because of it. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: houston's fleetwood neighborhood tonight is a marina. dozens of volunteers like kenny evans -- >> hello! rescue! >> reporter: -- showing up with their own rescue boats. >> have you ever seen anything like this? >> never, no. >> reporter: people here say they were caught off-guard by rising floods overnight, supercharged when officials say they were forced to release water from the nearby addicks and barker reservoirs. the lypkie family, 3-year-old jude and 2-year-old ollie. >> here why don't you guys sit right here together. you okay? >> reporter: stranded with mom and dad for 13hours. >> you guys excited for a boat ride? >> reporter: the army corps of engineers is sending water downstream to relieve pressure on the dams. but they're filling faster than they can be emptied, meaning homes on the backside of the reservoirs are flooding too. nearly three dozen subdivisions, hundreds of homes, at risk.
evans estimates he has carried more than 100 people to safety. >> we have called 911. >> 911 won't help you. i'm here to hapelp you. >> reporter: they have to drain this for as long as three months. the dams are 70 years old, and they are in need of a fix, but tonight, officials say they are expected to hold, tom. >> but all those families caught in the middle, and it's unclear when or if they will be able to go home. collate clayton, thank you. as we saw, people need shelter right now. around 30,000 to of them across this area, and some will be in need for a long, long time. the city shelters are rapidly filling you. abc's victor oquendo is at the convention center which now 5,000 people now call home. >> reporter: they were brought here in dump trucks lifted out one by one. but by afternoon, they were coming in by the busload. take a look outside the convention center. bus after bus dropping off more evacuees, some arriving here without even shoes on their feet. long tables of volunteers handing out clothes.
asma flowers arrived with her three kids, volunteers wrapping them in towels. she tells me it took her three hours to get here by boat, by foot, and finally by bus. >> as long as my babies safe, i'm okay. >> reporter: the red cross prepared cots for 5,000 people. most are now taking. this shelter nearing capacity. >> this shelter rescue is going to be a very heavy lift. we're anticipating over 30,000 people being placed in shelters temporarily. >> reporter: smaller shelters also filling up. in nearby dickinson, rescue workers carry an elderly woman in a blanket into city hall. the corridors crowded with children, shivering and frightened. >> these kids need help. >> they're soaked to the bone. >> they're completely soaked. >> reporter: with government stretched to the limit, churches pitching in. pastor david mcdougle welcomed nearly 300 people to first baptist church in north houston. >> they are sleeping on the ground, in chairs. people are sleeping under tables. we are trying really hard to keep everyone safe. >> reporter: his wife serena
pleading on facebook, "out of food and water for these 200+ people. anything good would help!" >> and so many powerful stories from inside the convention center, and that's where victor joins you live. there's an urgent need for shelter, but it will become an all-out effort to find homes for so many of those people. >> reporter: tom, the people we spoke to hope to return home, but fema's administrator saying, quote, housing in texas will be very frustrating. the last resort will be manufactured homes or travel trailers and that would be a process, tom. >> still many months away. victor, thanks so much. the flooding is triggering a dangerous health situation as well. one hospital is under evacuation. others strained to the limit, and people with chronic illnesses are in special need. add to that, clean water, medicines and stress, and this area could be experiencing a full blown medical crisis. here's abc's eva pilgrim.
>> reporter: some of the most vulnerable families today begging for help. >> we cannot get out. >> reporter: bernadette colon-paget trapped inside her home with six children, and a husband who is diabetic. >> he needs to eat a certain type of food at a certain time. and we're basically running out of food. we're trying to get through 911 and all the lines are busy we can't get through. >> reporter: at houston's ben taub hospital, they will trying to evacuate the most critical patients tonight. there's just enough to get them through dinner tomorrow. tonight the race to evacuate area nursing homes. the patients from this home in dickinson, texas, rescued after that heartbreaking photo was posted on twitter, the water rising around their chairs. >> the people that came in and have dementia and dehydration, they were scared, they were cold. >> reporter: tonight, dramatically different. those patients safe and sound. as for rescuers, another possible hidden danger. questions about what's seeping into the water on top of the wildlife. mounds of fire ants, snakes, even alligators. the rescuers pitching in to save many, just desperate to get out.
tonight, bernadette sending us this video moments ago, showing her family rescued. thankful to make it out of their home. >> and eva, such good things about this one family. but what does this mean for the other families who have the medical emergency? >> reporter: well, tom, it's just really hard to get around right now. i'm sure you see there's water everywhere. a lot of roads are closed, getting to an open hospital or on emergency responder getting to you is just going to take time, tom. >> it is one of the reasons these rescues are so complicated. eva, thank you. i want to go now to abc's senior meteorologist, rob marciano. he is tracking this monster storm. rob, you were out there with the first responders all day. give us the big picture. where's this storm, and whatlies ahead? >> reporter: well it's off the coast, and reorganizing and that's why this ray is congress down harder today. we're here where the roads have become boat ramps for volunteers
and first responders trying to get people out of their homes as the waters continue to reiss. you saw people coming out with children on their arms, and they rescued other people and their pets and sisters that thought they could ride out the storm, but the waters continue to rise right thousand. the storm right now is off the coast, and it's forced to continue to swirl its way into louisiana. another night of heavy rain here in houston, and then sliding east tomorrow, and that's when the heaviest rain should be over, for houston, but another 10 inches potentially in some spots, tom. >> all right. i don't know how they can withstand any more torrential downpours. thank you. next, president trump heading here to the disaster zone tomorrow. speaking for the first time, praising first responders and the rescue efrtds. president trump's handling of the effort, under scrutiny tonight. here's abc's senior white house correspondent, jonathan karl.
>> reporter: at the white house today, president trump offered this message to the victims of hurricane harvey -- "we are 100% with you." >> we are one american family. we hurt together, we struggle together, and believe me, we endure together. we are one family. >> reporter: the president was upbeat about recovery efforts, saying the texas governor is doing a fantastic job, calling his fema administrator "outstanding in so many ways," and predicting a swift recovery. >> texas is a unique place. it's a great, great state, great people. and i think you'll be up and running very, very quickly. really very quickly. so, yeah, i think you'll be in fantastic shape. >> reporter: trump today also defended his controversial pardon of arizona sheriff joe arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court for racial profiling. the pardon was announced just as hurricane harvey started to hit the texas coast. >> in the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a friday evening, i assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally. the hurricane was just starting. and i put out that i pardoned,
as we call sheriff joe. he is loved in arizona. i thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly. >> and jon karl joins us now from the white house, and jon, president trump is heading down to texas first thing in the morning? >> reporter: the president and the first lady are going down to texas to get a first hand look at recovery efforts and tom, they tell us the president will be going back to texas and to louisiana on saturday. >> now expanding that trip. all right, jonathan karl for us ait white house. another big story, the latest provocation from north korea. reports of a new ballistic missile launch. this one passing over japanese air space, and abc's chief international correspondent, terry moran joins me from london. what do we know about the miss skpl the response in the region? >> reporter: this is another serious escalation. north korea firing a missile, crossing over japanese air space. that's something they have done three times before, but not without warning. or at a time of such escalating
tension. the ballistic missile was launched from near pyongyang, flew east passing over japan before landing in the ocean of hokkaido. the government went on warning people to take cover. this is the latest in a series of provocations from north korea, which tested an intercontinue innocentle ballistic missile that may be capable of reaching u.s. cities. president trump has threatened to confront new signs of aggression from north korea with, quote, fire and fury. no response yet from the white house to today's launch, tom. >> all of this adding so much tension to that region. all right, terry. thanks so much. we'll stay on top of all of those developments. much more ahead on this special edition of "world news tonight." we'll continue with the developments here. the new impact from harvey felt by millions across the country. the cost of gas about to spike. how high could prices go in just the next two days? plus tracking the new storm
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plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you. back now with the heartbreaking homecoming along the texas coast. some evacuated families making the return trip back today, only to find nothing left. abc's senior national correspondent, matt gutman, with that story. >> reporter: tonight towns along the texas coast reduced to wastelands of debris. in rockport, we found christina and robert urdiales, both of them police officers, scavenging what they could through lawns turned mud pits. >> got a call from my friend, he said it was all gone. >> reporter: harvey's wind obliterating their home. outside port aransas, the >> it's not junk to us. >> reporter: outside port aransas, the displaced lining up for miles, hoping to salvage something.
residents like danielle and william week, who fled port aransas to corpus christi to sit out the storm. danielle is scheduled for a c-section tomorrow. what about your home? >> we're pretty worried we won't have a home to go back to. >> reporter: they invited us to go back with them, but were blocked at this check point. so we're going to go check this out for you. you're okay with that? >> yes. >> reporter: we were allowed to drive in past the mind-numbing wreckage of mashed up metal and splintered wood. it's hard to tell what even happened here. and then we found their home. it was flipped over and wrapped around that palm tree. want to see this? >> the worst part is seeing all the kids' stuff on the ground. >> reporter: i know. >> it was better knowing. now we know it's not going to be there. >> reporter: tom, it is heartbreaking for that family, but also for the thousands here who have lost everything. it is devastation and 360 hampering the recovery. no water, no power, no cell phones and the remnants of harvey are whipping back through here again, tom. >> it's incredible. that community has suffered so
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and welcome back. there is a new tropical threat off the american coast. the system brewing along the carolinas. take a look. tropical storm watches and warnings posted at this hour. our weather team tracking possible heavy rain and rip currents from georgia all the way to virginia before this system heads out to sea. and the disaster here in texas causing a ripple effect. exxon closing one of its centers. gas prices are expected to spike 20 to 40 cents per gallon and could remain that way for two weeks. in the heart of the def sfapgs neighbors and cleat
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better than a catnap. shut your mouth and say goodnight, mouthbreathers. breathe right. finally tonight, everywhere we look over the last two days, we see neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger. >> reporter: just like the rain here, the devastating images and stories continue to pour in. a family forced to use a floating refrigerator to save their child. and another family on an air mattress. 10-year-old javon murphy running through chest-deep waters to
check on a neighbor at his apartment complex. rising from the flood waters, the human spirit. two young children carried to safety in the arms of a sheriff's deputy in cyrus, texas. amidst the kchaos and destruction, images of kindness and strength. neighbor helping neighbor, lending a land and giving a hug. a reminder there is something inside of you a storm can't break. if you want to help the people of houston, go to our website for more information. i'm tom llamas. "gma" first thing in the morning. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night.
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